Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Live Baltimore recently visited Union Square and then went to Facebook to post a beautiful album of images including a wonderful narrative to go with the photos. Share this with your friends who don't have access to Facebook. Enjoy. (Photo credit for all images: Live Baltimore)
Neighbors get in the holiday spirit in Union Square.
December’s Final Friday took us to Southwest Baltimore’s Union Square Baltimore neighborhood, and oh boy, do we wish we were in a position to move! If we had to sum up our visit in one word, there’s no question that it would be ‘hospitality.’ This is truly a community where everybody knows your name. And if they don’t, believe they will stop you on the street to extend a hand and introduce themselves!
Lovely brick-front homes in Union Square.
Shopping for a home? If you’re spotted with a Realtor in Union Square, you just might find yourself invited over to Larry’s house for biscuits on Sunday or asked to join in the community’s progressive dinner tradition. Residents in Union Square are actively engaged in greening projects, art installations, youth programming, block contests, and so much more.
We began our morning in Union Square at Larry's house—a frequent gathering spot for neighbors.
Never met anyone who lives in Union Square? It’s likely because so many commute to DC, Annapolis, or other nearby locations for work. But don’t let that fool you—these Baltimore diehards also walk to Orioles games, downtown businesses, and nearby parks. Take a tour with us and see how much there is to love about this tightknit community.
Meet Bif, Union Square Neighborhood Association President and our tour guide for the day.
Larry (by the sink) was gracious enough to welcome the Live Baltimore team and nearly 20 Union Square neighbors into his home. Pastries courtesy of Culinary Architecture (coming soon to Pigtown Mainstreet).
Neighbors took turns introducing themselves and sharing why they think Union Square is the best neighborhood in Baltimore.
Before leaving Larry's house, we took a tour of 
his historic renovation. Plenty of exposed brick 
and beam to ogle.
Wondering what to do with those
used slate roof tiles? Repurpose them
into a shower surround. Creative reuse!
The view from Larry's upper level deck.
And another angle.
Off we go to see the sights of Union Square.
Renovations are happening
everywhere in Union Square.
Neighbors tell us homes are selling 

as fast as they come on the market.
With grants from a variety of local nonprofits, 
Union Square neighbors are turning this once 
vacant lot into a rain garden. Residents work 
weekends to ready the ground for plantings.
We can't get enough of this amazing Union Square mural.
You'll find neighbors planting in this garden this spring.
Another view of our favorite Union Square mural.
Neighbors lay out their plans for a community rain garden.
Residents will get the joke. Signs here have been changed from S Carey Street to So. Carey Street.
Bif introduces the neighborhood's "Lots 
of Art" program, turning vacant lots 
into useable spaces throughout the 
Art lots do wonders for neighborhoods
—reducing illegal activity, preventing 
dumping, and giving kids a space to 
play safely.
Constellation mural behind Union Square's "Lots of Art."
This art lot features a free library for 
all residents. Take a book, leave a book.
Entering Union Square's movie lot.
Union Square hosts movies in the lot here from May through October.
Neighborhood kids enjoy running the popcorn machine that appears at every show.
Another great Union Square tradition: Bloom Your 
Block. We're told neighbors really get into the 
competition for the best curb appeal.
Two decks and two garages?
Not what many think of when they think city living. But it's here!
Approaching the gorgeous Enoch Pratt Library building.
The historic library building in Union Square.
Our staff member, Ross, used to call this building home
(when he worked for the Neighborhood Design Center).
Another angle of the Pratt Library building.
Three windows wide, three windows tall. That's a big rowhouse! (Try, 6,000 square feet!)
We met yet another friendly face as we walked, the neighborhood mailman.
(Said to be the best in Baltimore.)
Even the mailman stops to chat with you in Union Square!
We love an old fire house. This is the one in Union Square.
Grand entryways are the rule rather than the exception in Union Square.
Headed to our final destination...
Another participant in Union Square's Bloom Your Block event.
These pots will be filled with flowers this spring.
There is a square in Union Square!
Union Square's square offers just the right amount of green space for neighbors.
Fran, a longtime Union Square resident, welcomes us into his historic, park-front home.
Fran and his wife restored their historic home with their own hands (no outside contractors here!).
Their parlor is full of history you won't find in other neighborhoods.
Sights to see everywhere as we toured the neighborhood.
Thanks for hosting our December Final Friday, Union Square! We loved it!


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